Forms of online or digital sexual violence -- for example, online sexual harassment, stalking and the distribution of personal pictures and "sexts" without someone’s consent -- continue to affect youth and adult women in growing numbers.
According to the Youth Internet Safety Survey, one in eleven internet users aged 10 to 17 had been the recipient of threats or offensive behaviour over the past year (see: Wolak, Mitchell, and Finkelhor, 2006); and 1/4 of teen girls and 1/3 of teen boys have seen a sext photo intended for someone else (MTV, 2009).
While the use of technology is a reality for youth and adults today, most prevention responses to online sexual violence focuses on limiting the victim's use of technology, and criminal justice response (police reporting). With digital media such as internet, Facebook, text-messaging and smart-phone use now such an important part of our lives today, we know that other supports for survivors of online sexual violence are needed!
With this in mind, the Women’s Support Network of York Region developed two information resources. Click the links to access these resources on supporting survivors of online sexual violence: